Why to present young jazz in ruins?

First of all, we truly love the revival of the historical and postindustrial areas nad buildings in Silesia. So, we try to “infect” the so-far ruins with youth and energy, to stimulate it with an innovative creativity.

Just like it is at the current venue of the festival, i.e. the 150-year-old GZUT Model Hall, where monument designs and casts were created that today form the landscape of the largest cities in Poland and abroad (e.g. Warsaw Nike or the Silesian Insurgents Monument in Katowice).

Second of all, as it has happened so many times before in the history of jazz, a new approach to jazz music, new styles, new ways of exploration had been considered as  … the end of jazz. That’s what most of critics had said about be bop, hard bop, free jazz, fusion and other new branches of jazz. And, as the history has shown those had been the beginnings of something new, not the end. Beginnings, not a beginning, almost like in the circle of life. And that’s why ruins seem an ideal place for a festival with an idée fixe this one – the presentation of new, young generations of jazz musicians.

Jazz in Ruins is a festival of young jazz music and new rising stars of improvised music. In the festival participate musicians and groups from all over the world.

We aim at:

- a popularization of new faces and developments in jazz and improvised music,

- a creation of a platform to promote new bands and sounds of jazz from every corner of the world

- a presentation of all different and unique ways of development of a phenomenon called jazz by showing how young composers and musicians  understand improvised music today, how they see it and feel it, how they transform and convert it, to what sources they reach and where they search and find inspirations

And that’s the mission of the festival and the message  we want to send to our audience -  in probably most absorbable and enjoyable form, a summer picnic.

Despite the fact that all participants of the festival are at the begging of their career we may assume that in not so far future they will create the history of that  phenomenon called jazz.  As a proof of those assumptions we may present their  prizes and awards won at the most reputable contests organised in the whole world, we could mention their phonographic debuts, which have gained lots of interest in the media, among critics and audiences. Some of them raise strong controversy, as if on purpose “putting cat among the pigeons”, fighting with  schematic views and expectations. That kind of artists are presented at the Jazz in Ruins Festival. That’s the main goal of the festival.

Since 2008 the festival’s idea goes a bit farther. Since that year Jazz in Ruins is not just about music. We take the matter with a much wider approach. During the festival takes place a presentation of young graphic designers, an exhibition of posters made by them especially for the festival.

Why to combine those worlds? Well, as we believe a good album, a CD or a concert should go with a good graphic design, not just a useful information or a band’s leader photo. Graphic design is a form of the art, as well as music. We believe that by combing those two worlds we create a kind of a platform of a mutual  understanding and, hopefully, cooperation between young artists.  For the effects we’ll have to wait a bit, but … there’s no hurry. After all,  among the musicians and the graphic designers taking part in the festival are rising and future of those art forms. The future belongs to them, so it’s seems as a quite a good idea to create a “meeting place”, a platform of mutual cooperation and a better understanding of each other form of art. For the benefit of the art in general.

The idea of this kind of festival came to Mirosław Rakowski, chairman of Silesian Jazz Club, in 1991 during his holidays in Amsterdam. “While walking through the tiny streets along the canals, we heard some music. It was an acoustic jazz band playing on a small stage. As we went further, we came along other stages and many other bands. It was a great experience, which gave me some food for thought. Yet, my ideas of an open jazz event in Gliwice were realised much later, in the 21st century”, he recollects.

The first Jazz in Ruins Festival was organised in August 2004 and since that time it has expanded very much. In 2008 the festival became an international event. Among the bands and musicians that have performed here, there were guests from Finland, Norway, Slovakia, Moldavia, Hungary, Belarus, Denmark, Spain, France, Belgium, UK, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, USA, Columbia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapor and even Israel. If you want to see them or listen to them, check the Photo- and the Video-Gallery on our website. Since 2008 our festivals have consisted of more that just the concerts; we`ve also organised additional events: music workshops and art galleries. Besides that, before the concerts and during the breaks  we can listen to live music at the terrace of the theatre.

However, the main idea of the festival hasn`t changed at all. Our main goal is to introduce young musicians and bands from all around the world. We want to show new phenomena in jazz and improvised music, create a place which promotes the new sounds of jazz and show the development of jazz music in different parts of t he world. Of course, some of our performers can hardly be considered “young artists”. Why is that? Jazz cannot be limited. Nevertheless, there`s one condition for artists over the age of 35: they have to present an entirely new music project. And if they perform with young musicians, that`s even better.